Will Gov. DeSantis let this terrible bill define his environmental legacy?
What’s it going to be, Governor?
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has styled himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, a conservative who makes a point of conserving our natural environment.
And he’s done some good things: He’s steered massive amounts of state funding towards Everglades restoration and protection of water resources; he replaced the board of the South Florida Water Management District with new board members more amenable to the clean-water cause; and he’s boosted funding for resiliency.
But with the stroke of a pen, DeSantis could undermine this legacy.
Notorious Senate Bill 2508 has not yet landed on the governor’s desk. But soon, DeSantis will have to decide if he’ll sign, ignore or veto one of the most environmentally damaging pieces of legislation to come out of Tallahassee this session.
If he signs SB 2508 into law — or if merely does nothing, allowing the bill to become law — he’ll be giving a massive gift to Florida’s powerful sugar industry, and contributing to future environmental crises in Lake Okeechobee and on both coasts.
The bill ensures Big Sugar has as much water as it wants when it wants it, even though this means higher lake levels that harm the ecology of the lake. And it virtually guarantees massive discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, harming seagrasses and — if blue-green algae is present — triggering another environmental crisis with devastating effects on local businesses, marine life, and even human life.
Several Florida environmental groups have asked Gov. DeSantis to veto SB 2508. We join that chorus, noting that the threat it poses to our fragile waters is but one reason why the governor should toss this bill in the trash where it belongs.
For SB 2508 may be the most dishonest bill to emerge from the capitol this year, a corporate giveaway rammed through the Legislature with almost no chance for public comment.
And though many of the worst provisions in SB 2508 were stripped out after massive public outcry, if DeSantis signs the bill it amounts to an endorsement of the process, and the intent of the bill — to do Big Sugar a favor, at the expense of virtually everyone else.
So what’s it going to be? Will Gov. DeSantis let this be his legacy?
Or will he veto this legislation — before it harms us?
We can still kill the bill. Click the button below to help us make sure Gov. DeSantis gets the message loud and clear by sending him a pre-formatted message today.